Farmington River Report 6/13/19: Fish on!

Mark is a repeat client, and yesterday he wanted to work on his nymphing. We picked a great day for it: moderate-to-high flows, overcast, rain, showers, cold (54 degrees in mid-June? Really?). We hit three marks below the Permanent TMA and found multiple fish willing to play in all of them. The method was a combination of indicator and tight line nymphing, both using a drop-shot rig. We fished a size 16 Starling and Herl top dropper and a size 14 Frenchie variant on point; the trout found favor with both flies.

Trutta buttah, the best fish of the day, a some-teen inch wild brown that hammered the Frenchie. Love those pecs! Great job playing and landing by Mark.

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Pure paar pulchritude. This yearling was my personal favorite, a testament to the fertile nature of the river. He selected the Starling and Herl. Mark also took a half-dozen rainbows of varying size, all of which were more than happy to treat us to aerials and other obstreperous behavior.

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A shout out to Mark who has vastly improved his nymphing skills: line/leader management, quality drifts, and especially hook sets. Well done, and thanks for a great day.

Farmington River Report 5/29/19: Nymph them up

Wednesday was cool, overcast, and there wasn’t a lot of hatch activity (caddis and Light Cahills) until late afternoon. That didn’t stop Sam from sticking a bunch of trout between 10am-5pm. We fished below and within the permanent TMA, four marks total, and we found trout willing to jump on in all of them. Given the water height (880cfs lower river and 575 up north) we spent the entire day working on Sam’s drop-shot nymphing game, using a combination of tight line and indicator tactics. We landed a mix of rainbows and wild & Survivor Strain browns. Good job, Sam! You’re on your way to becoming a lethal subsurface threat.

Deep within the Amazon jungle, native wildflowers…nah. It’s just New Hartford, Connecticut. Darn pretty, though, and as lush and green as the rainforest.

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Men at work: Sam getting it done with a tight line presentation. His reward was a lovely wild brown that came on a size 14 Hare and Copper.

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One of several Survivor Strain browns that made it to the hoop. This one came out of the Permanent TMA. Way to go, Sam!

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Mother Nature has spoken: Light Cahills on the lower Farmington

I have not been to the lower Farmington to bear witness, but I know the Light Cahills are coming off because the first rose in my garden bloomed today. On top, a classic Catskills dry or a creamy Usual; subsurface, a legacy Light Cahill winged wet or a Partridge and Light Cahill soft hackle. All will serve you well.

Every year is different, but nature is always on time. This rose is called “Grenada.”

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What’s new and news with Currentseams

Happy Saturday, everyone. Just some quick notes from your humble host. First, I hope everyone’s making through winter OK. Courage! Spring will be here soon. Thanks for your readership.

~ Speaking of reading, I’ve been writing. Just finished up a piece for Eastern Fly Fishing on the Farmington River. Many thanks to everyone who helped out, including but not limited to Torrey Collins, Don Butler, Steve Hogan, Neal Hagstrom, Brian Eltz, and of course my editor extraordinaire, AKA Mrs. Culton. It should be out later this year. And my Housy piece in the same mag should drop any day now.

~ I see Currentseams is very close to 700 followers. Once we reach and stabilize that number, we will have another subscriber appreciation drawing. Get six of your friends to follow!

~ My tying weekend at Legends is sold out. If you’re one of the people who signed up, many thanks for your support.

~ I hope you’re enjoying my “Best of North Country Spiders” series. We still have a few more to go.

~ Finally, my guiding rate card has changed (you can see it here). This reflects the ever-growing cost of doing business, what the local market is currently bearing, and brings me into line with my peers. Or, as Aunt Eller sang in Oklahoma!:

“I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else, but I’ll be danged if I ain’t just as good!”

Aunt Eller

Tight lines to all.

 

 

 

 

Space Still Available for Legends Fly Tying Weekends

Sal at Legends on the Farmington is not only a good guy, but also a small engine whisperer. Yesterday my snow blower wouldn’t start, and I happened to be on the phone with Sal as I was driving to get a new spark plug. Sal opined that stale gas was the culprit. Bingo! Some fresh petrol in the chamber and she started right up.

Speaking of Sal, he tells me that Legends on the Farmington has a few openings left for their Fly Tying Weekends with Steve Culton (that’s me) March 22&23 (1 opening and room for a guest) and Bruce Marino February 22&23 (2 openings and room for a guest)  These are all inclusive $295.00 two night stays, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, Saturday Fly Tying and how to fish the Farmington, dinner Saturday night, BYOB.  Bring a participating guest to share your room for $159.00 or a nonparticipating guest for $89. Meals included for all guests. Contact Legends directly at 203-650-8767 or email legendsbnb@hotmail.com.

We’ll be tying buggy soft-hackled goodness like this.

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Standing Room Only for “Wet Flies 101”

I want to give a big shout out to everyone who packed the room yesterday for my “Wet Flies 101” presentation at the CFFA Expo. How wonderful to see every seat filled, and SRO in the back. Excellent Q&A session afterwards, great job everyone! I saw plenty of old friends, and made some new ones. (Thanks to Henry, who’s all of 10 years old, for trading soft-hackles with me. Gonna get a big one on that fly.) I’m grateful to the CFFA for inviting me, and for that delicious lunch. If your fly fishing club is looking to book a speaker, my late winter thru spring is fairly open, as is the fall. You know where to find me.

A little break from Tyers’ Row. Gone wet fly fishin’ talkin’.

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Best of 2018 #8: Guiding

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” goes the old saw. Nice try, but guiding is hard work. Still, it’s a labor of love, and I’m fortunate enough to be a teaching guide on a beautiful river. I get all kinds of clients, from beginner to intermediate to tourists and beyond, but they have one thing in common: they’ve chosen me to improve their fishing experience. I’ve once again been fortunate to have been hired by a long string of pleasant, kind people who were eager to learn and a pleasure to fish with. Thanks to everyone who made my job easier in 2018.

My April UpCountry wet flies class ran into a strong Hendrickson hatch. We like when that happens. 

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Guiding the next generation of fly anglers.

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Big Farmy browns to net always make a guide look good. I’ll take all the help I can get.

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One of my favorite guiding stories from 2018: I was shivering in my boots on a July evening, and I had to run back to the truck for my jacket. I told Mark I wanted to see his rod bent when I returned. As I came through the woods, this was the scene:

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